Our Irish 50k champion John Byrne, is part of a strong Irish team heading to the European & World 100km Championships in Italy on Sunday next 22nd April.
The men’s team will be captained by Daniel Doherty, who finished 14th in the 2011 World Championships.
Doherty, along with John Byrne and Irish 100km record holder Thomas Maguire make up a trio of Irish runners with sub -7:10hr PBs.
The team, which also includes Keith Whyte (sub 7:30hrs), Michael Collins (World veteran bronze medallist) and John O’Regan (Irish 24-Hour Champion) will be hoping to win medals in the European Championships. The cumulative time of the top three finishers for each nation decides the outcome of the team competition.
This will be John’s third World Championship, having competed in Gibraltar 2010, and Holland 2011.
The Straide native has been training hard over the winter. His 50k win in February was a good indicator of how well the training was going and gave him a great confidence boost. Since January he has clocked up over a thousand training miles from his Castlebar base, and repeated hundreds of 5.5 and 7.5 loops out the Windy Gap in all weathers. Some of these training runs were 40 miles plus. In March he logged 387 miles.
John continues to be an inspiration for many, not least that he started off his running career at roughly the same fitness level that hundreds of runners now find themselves at in the current recreational boom. His formidable past record shows he has the mental and physical strength for both marathon and ultra – beyond the marathon distances. As they say, it is all about even pace and experience shows that the 100k race begins at 70k.
Sarah Syron will be part of the Irish team’s support crew, as she has been for all of John’s ultra races, and her experience and moral support is a huge asset to our Mayo AC hero and his team-mates.
The 100k course at Seregno, just north of Milan, consists of 5 x 20k laps. Italian Giorgio Calcaterra won the World title in 2011 (6.28hr) and will be among the race favourites on home territory. The 40 year old Rome athlete won the Connemara Ultra in a course record on 1st April.
Mayo AC wish John, Sarah and the Irish team best of luck in Seregno.
IRISH MEN’S TEAM
IRISH WOMEN’S TEAM